Blogging

Blogger’s Block And Blogging Burnout

I didn’t post daily in January. I also didn’t even write a blog post every day. Even though I was a little bothered by that, I’ve been more bothered by other things. Like burnout and blogger’s block, which is like writer’s block but worse. I had an easier time writing than blogging last month.

New month, new me. That said, I won’t be blogging all the time because I need to live my life. But I’m ready to get back into the grind. It’s not always easy, but I’m grateful for every opportunity.

I want to address being blocked so to speak. I don’t want to wait for inspiration. I’d rather get to work. For some reason, I didn’t have many great ideas in January. Even promising ones didn’t pan out. For instance, I drafted a one-word writing interview/Q&A. I liked the idea. I didn’t like the draft. And because I made it my goal in 2019 to publish content I’m proud of, I don’t want to post something for the sake of posting.

In regards to burnout, I started this blog in 2013. At the time, I wanted to publish every day. I was in high school. I wasn’t as busy. So I had more time and energy. But a lot has changed in five, almost six years. I’ve changed. WordPress has changed. What didn’t change was my stubborn commitment to blog daily. But 2018 was a hard year for me. I got hit by a car at the beginning of the year. Recovering was a long and exhausting process.

I was fortunate enough to go twenty years without anything truly traumatic happening to me. So I guess my point is that trying to blog every day while trying to let my body and brain heal made me burnout in a way I never experienced before.

It’s been nearly a year since my life changed forever, and I’m ready to live fully again.

Reading

Dawn Among The Stars Free Ebook On Kindle


Dawn Among the Stars by Samantha Heuwagen is free on Kindle from January 24th to 28th.

Last year, I posted a book review of the novel on this blog. Here were my thoughts.

About the book: It’s the first in a series, following the perspective of three characters: Kayin, Henry, and Melissa in that respective order.

First impressions: I like the premise of the novel with other beings arriving on earth. I also love the title, and the cover page reflects what the story is about.

Characters: The three characters are different with each having their own goals. What’s more, the secondary characters are likeable.

Quote:

“Sometimes it is better to be disappointed than to never know at all.”

Writing: There’s a mix of description and dialogue. The world building is done well because the author doesn’t bombard readers with too much information all at once.

Check out the full review here.

The next novel, Fading Starlight, will be released in June 2019. The author will send you the first chapter from it if you tag her or share Dawn Among the Stars on social media. You’ll just need to give her your email address.

The book is only free from now until January 28. So get it soon!

Reading

Mind Games By Nancy Mehl | A Book Review

Title: Mind Games

Author: Nancy Mehl

Genre: Suspense

About the book: It’s the first novel in a series about an FBI profiler named Kaely Quinn who learns a serial killer is after her.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

First impressions: I like the title, cover, and premise. There’s a prologue, which grabbed my attention.

Characters: Kaely’s a likeable character. Noah Hunter, the lead agent on the case, is also easy to like. Nobody’s perfect either. Everyone had a flaw or a past.

Quote:

“You feel called to do what you do.”

Writing: The book is a little more than 300 pages with short chapters. While the novel delves into some serious issues, the dialogue offers some lighter moments.

I loved how there isn’t really a lot of romance. That said, perhaps the first book plants the seeds for a romantic relationship in the rest of the series.

I have a greater appreciation for red herrings. Many of them threw me off. I also found the bits about behavioural analysis and reading people quite interesting. Maybe it’s just me, but the book reminded me of the TV show Criminal Minds.

Final thoughts: Even though I figured out the killer before the big reveal, I still enjoyed trying to solve the mystery.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story. I’m interested to see what happens in the next novel.

Check out Mind Games if you’re a fan of suspenseful FBI procedurals.


Do you have an arc or galley I should read? Check out my Book Review Policy.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

Internment By Samira Ahmed | A Book Review

Title: Internment

Author: Samira Ahmed

Genre: Young Adult

About the book: It’s a standalone novel about a Muslim American teenager named Layla who gets sent to an internment camp.

I received an advanced review copy from Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I was excited to read this novel because of its premise. The cover is gorgeous. From the start, I wanted to see how the plot would play out.

Characters: Layla’s a great protagonist. I enjoyed seeing her development. She’s likeable and relatable. So are her parents as well as the friends she makes in the camp.

Quote:

“Sometimes it takes incredible strength to survive.”

Writing: It’s told in the first person from Layla’s perspective. I liked the short, suspenseful chapters. I didn’t love the romantic scenes with Layla and her boyfriend.

It’s such a heart-wrenching, heavy read, but I appreciate the lighter moments in the dialogue. I experienced so many emotions throughout the story.

Final thoughts: Although not everyone gets a happy ending, I enjoyed it.

I highly recommend Internment. Even if you aren’t a fan of young adult, I think the novel’s message can speak to almost anybody.


Do you have an arc or galley I should read? Check out my Book Review Policy.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

Pick One: Fiction Tropes

Below I pit two fiction tropes against each other and pick the one I prefer.

Overly protective brother overly protective father?

Brother. I love this trope so much.

Haters to lovers or lovers to haters?

Even though I’m not the biggest romance reader, I enjoy a good haters to lovers storyline. Certainly more than love at first sight, gets married next month.

Haters to lovers or enemies to friends?

Enemies to friends. I’m here for platonic relationships.

Love triangle or love square?

I don’t love either, but I’ll go with a square. The more the merrier, I guess.

Rags to riches or riches to rags?

The former. I want characters to succeed.

A hero or an anti-hero?

Anti-hero. Not everyone can be brave and courageous or save the world, am I right?

Vampires or werewolves?

Thanks to Christopher Pike, vampire books gave me life as a teenager.

Funny friend or smart sidekick?

Give me both any day, but I often relate to a smart sidekick more. I’m just not funny.

Real dating or fake dating?

The latter all the way. It’s fun reading about people who have to pretend they’re in love.

I’d love to know which fiction tropes you would pick.

Writing

Why I’ve Stopped Blogging Every Day

It’s silly, but I feel like I don’t have as many hours in the day now.

I feel odd, out of sorts. I’m a stubborn person, so sacrificing my personal projects because of school sucks. If I could, I’d spend more time writing and blogging for myself.

This blog has benefitted me in so many ways. I’m happy I have something to call my own.

Whenever possible, I’ve tried to do what feels right by me, regardless of what others say. I’m doing the best I can.

I wish I could do everything every day, but like I said before, I can’t. And that’s okay. I’m trying to figure out who I am as a writer, a blogger. Who I want to be. While I don’t have all the answers, I know this much: I love creating.

In the past, I believed I had to do in order to learn. But sometimes not doing can teach a lot too. Besides, I go through phases where I prioritize different projects. So sometimes blogging takes a backseat.

It’s hard to put out content every single day. Kudos to those of you who do.

Reading

Once We Were Strangers By Shawn Smucker | A Book Review

Title: Once We Were Strangers

Author: Shawn Smucker

Genre: Memoir

About the book: It’s about a writer and a refugee who become friends in America.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

First impressions: I don’t really read memoirs, but I liked the premise and title.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but I was surprised in a good way. I enjoyed the beginning, especially the first chapter.

Characters: The story revolves around the author, Shawn, and Mohammed who is a Syrian refugee. What struck me is how similar the two men are despite their different experiences in life. Mohammed has a good personality. I wish I could be more like him with his hope and optimism. I found myself relating to Shawn’s thoughts. They’re both likeable and easy to root for. I wanted to see both of them succeed.

Quote:

“I feel the vacancy only cities can bestow, the loneliness that happens when you’re surrounded by a city full of strangers.”

Writing: For such a heartbreaking account, the writing is beautiful. Some of my favourite parts of the book were Shawn’s conversations with Mohammed.

The chapters aren’t too long. They alternate between first person point of view from Shawn’s perspective and third person from Mohammed’s perspective. The book itself is shorter than I anticipated at less than 200 pages.

Final thoughts: The memoir was eye-opening and thought-provoking. In many ways, it made me reflect on my own life.

I highly recommend Once We Were Strangers. It’s such a timely, relevant read right now.


Do you have an arc or galley I should read? Check out my Book Review Policy.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Personal Reflection

My Goals For 2019

Where do I even begin?

Read 40 books.

I’ve been able to for the past two years. Hopefully, 2019 isn’t an exception. On a similar note, I’ll try to post as many reviews as possible.

Write, edit, submit.

In a perfect world, I’d publish something somewhere. It’s out of my control though. Writing every day, editing my stories, submitting to contests…very much within my control.

Post content I’m proud of.

When I publish what I love, it makes me happy. I don’t want to be as hard on myself in 2019, yet my expectations are still high for this blog. More than anything, I can’t wait to create.

Learn more Spanish.

Fun fact, my name is Spanish. My dad speaks the language. I’ve been using Duolingo and doing two lessons every day.

Dance, exercise, stretch.

To be specific, I’d like to learn new moves, improve my core strength, and increase my flexibility.

Be nicer…to myself.

I’m my own worst critic. I guess I should also make an effort to be nicer to others as well.

What are your goals for 2019?